A vibration energy harvester designed to access parametric resonance can potentially outperform the conventional direct resonant approach in terms of power output achievable given the same drive acceleration. Although linear damping does not limit the resonant growth of parametric resonance, a damping dependent initiation threshold amplitude exists and limits its onset. Design approaches have been explored in this paper to passively overcome this limitation in order to practically realize and exploit the potential advantages. Two distinct design routes have been explored, namely an intrinsically lower threshold through a pendulum-lever configuration and amplification of base excitation fed into the parametric resonator through a cantilever-initial-spring configuration. Experimental results of the parametric resonant harvesters with these additional enabling designs demonstrated an initiation threshold up to an order of magnitude lower than otherwise, while attaining a much higher power peak than direct resonance.